Chronic Venous Disease

Chronic venous disease (CVD) is a term which encompasses a number of chronic conditions related to or caused by various vein disorders. Among the most common types of chronic venous disease are varicose veins and spider veins.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins occur when faulty valves in the veins allow the blood to flow in the wrong direction. The blood stagnates in the vein, causing it to swell. Varicose veins can cause the legs to swell or feel achy, heavy and tired. A person with varicose veins also may experience itching, burning, numbness or tingling. Nighttime leg cramps, restless leg syndrome, and—in extreme cases—leg ulcers can be the result of varicose veins.

Spider Veins

Spider veins are tiny, abnormally dilated veins in the skin. Although they are not usually painful, some patients may experience itching or burning due to spider veins. Some spider veins are not associated with venous reflux or insufficiency in larger superficial veins under the skin. Patients may choose to have these spider veins treated for cosmetic reasons. However, certain spider vein patterns of distribution may indicate the presence of larger varicose veins located deeper in the tissue.

Who's at risk?